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Deserving thanks

The wish for all those stepping out of the classroom to retire was evident Monday evening during the Decatur County retirement banquet—it was to say “thank you” and that you deserve your time of relaxation.

Teachers take on a special place in our lives—they are the power-brokers or the deal-breakers for our future.

As Sheriff Wiley Griffin spoke Monday, teachers are the counselors, psychologists, police officers, travel agent, bankers, custodian, psychic, coach, detectives and numerous other role players for the thousands of children enrolled in Decatur County’s schools.

How well they do their job dictates how well a student responds to learning. And the No. 1 job of a teacher should always be to teach—not be bureaucrats who must pander to politicians’ whims and cater to the latest, but not necessarily the greatest, test to measure learning.

As the sheriff said, a teacher can never tell where their influence stops.

But as a society, we see the cost of where students not succeeding begins. It begins with the 60,000 incarcerated and 5,000 prisoners backlogged and waiting to transfer from county jails to the state system, Griffin said.

To those teachers retiring at the end of the year, thank you and best wishes.